A highly valuable Baroque painting has been returned to its original owners after a 70 year battle and will go up for sale at Christie’s this June.
The painting, ‘Christ Carrying the Cross Dragged by a Rogue’, was lost by Federico Gentili di Giuseppe’s family during World War Two and relatives listened via conference call as the rights were handed back to them.
It ends 70 years of hurt for the family, with the painting now expected to sell at auction for around $3.5 million (£2.1 million).
Di Giuseppe’s grandson, Lionel Salem, told US officials: “You did right a wrong and we are very grateful for that.”
U.S. Attorney Pamela Marsh added: “This result happened only because people were courageous and willing to step up and do what they knew was right and good.”
The painting, believed to date back to 1538, shows Christ crowned with thorns and wearing a robe, carrying a cross while being dragged along by a rope.
Mr di Giuseppe purchased the painting by Girolamo Romano from a Parisian auction in 1914.